Beard stories. Nothing but beards.

by Open mind 57 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OnTheWayOut

    I don't have a beard story, but a moustache story.

    I moved from my original congregation and temporarily went to my mother's congregation (3 months) before I established myself in a new state with a new home. When I arrived, the elders already knew me but one pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to be used as an elder while I was there. I said okay. He said, "The only problem is that we don't allow our body of elders to have moustaches." I looked around the hall and realized that none of the elders did have moustaches. I stated, "Maybe this is not the congregation for me then." He laughed and said, "Just kidding!" It was just a coincidence he played on.

  • undercover
    I looked up beards in the CD-ROM and could find no real prohibition of them.

    That's right donut, no writing. But here, in the Southeast US anyway, it was an oral law. No brothers who wanted to be "used" could have a beard.

    I knew a clean cut elder, nice guy and well liked, who grew a beard. It made him look quite distinquished, like a college professor. The sisters liked it...they were all but swooning. Along comes the CO and he told him either shave it, or be removed.

    I was an MS when this happened. I went on a long vacation. I can grow a beard but it takes a while to fill in. So while on vacation, I started one. It was just starting to take shape when the vacation ended. I didn't want to shave it right away. I thought I'd keep it till service on Saturday. I went to the book study with it. I remember walking in and the conductor at first was glad to see me because no one with reading privileges had showed shown up yet. Then the next second he saw the beard and he frowned. He ended up using an unbaptized brother (who could barely read) to read that night.

    This experience happened as I started my fade. I've told this story before, but it fits with the thread. The CO was in town and was giving a talk on obedience. The gist of the talk was obey the "slave" no matter what. He gave the illustration of a brother from Russia who moved to the States. This brother had a beard, which was no big thing in Russia. He was made an elder here and performed his elder duties well. Then the CO showed up. The same one giving the talk. He asked the elder body why the brother was allowed to have a beard. The elders replied, he had it back home and they could find nothing in the publications forbidding it, so they didn't make an issue of it. The CO went on to explain how he had to tell those elders that it "just wasn't done" and the he'd have to shave. The point of the illustration was the elder did not question why he had to shave. He obeyed and shaved. I remember hearing that talk and being repulsed by the attitude of it all. The point of obeying witout question was sickening.

  • Priest73

    Horseshit. There are plenty of brothers with priviledges that have beards.

  • SixofNine

    I had a beard for the last 4 or 5 years of my witness career (a career which was obviously going nowheer). I once told my book study conductor "you guys (meaning the elder body) treat me worse than you would a pedophile" (in terms of having privileges in the congregation). This was well before I knew that it was not unlikely that they had a pedophile or two in then congregation that they knew of.

    The CO had an odd take on my having a beard. He actually used me as an example, to say to the congregation something to the effect of "see that brother does his own thing, and that's fine, but he waits on Jehovah to move the organization to..." (? to what?)... (not sure how he phrased it, but it was sort of an acknowledgement that everyone knows the beard rule is batshit crazy, but it's still the right thing for the elders to prevent a beard wearer from being a full member of the congregation*).

    Looking back, it seems as if he was saying "Mark's cool and beards should be fine, but no way am I going to put my status on the line by challenging this psuedo doctrine directly).

    The truth is the treatment hurt me every single day I had the beard. But no way was I going to give in to such foul logic.

    *btw, that is how I began phrasing my arguments back then, because the Witnesses all want to minimize what they really are doing with the beard rule. I would say "so if a worldly man, well respected in the community, wants to become a witness, you won't let him become a full member of the congregation, isn't that right?".

    "Hem Haw" was the standard response.

    IOW, my argument was, "why would a well respected worldly man with a beard be attracted to Jehovah, given that your argument for not allowing him to be a full part of Jehovah's organization is that 'men with beards aren't fully respected', when he in fact knows this argument to be bullshit both morally and objectively?".

    Thanks for the reminder of what spineless people JW men are, Open Mind

    *ps... someone up thread mentioned soul patches. The first time I grew a beard, I cut it after a week or two because I couldn't take the heat the elders immediately brought. But I left a soul patch. They were totally fine with that. CO especially thought it was cool.

    I couldn't help but think, that much like the seersucker suit I wore on occasion and everyone seemed to love, the soul patch was much less common and "acceptable" at that point of time in "The World", than a beard or goatee was.

  • PSacramento

    I recall one time my mom invited me to some JW thingy at the locak KH and reminded me to shave, LOL !

    I went with a nice beard ala Miximus in Gladiator !

    When she saw this she saod, " Why didn't you shave?

    My reply, "looking over all the literature from AWAKE and the WT I noticed all the cool people had beards, Jesus, David, Moses, Soloman, Paul, John, so I decided to be cool too !, besides, according to the WT book on Revelations, all the heavenly people have beards ! ".

  • Farkel

    Chuck Russell had a beard and many Bible Students (including women!) grew beards like his to demonstrate their worship of him.

    When Rutherford took over, he waited a few years and then worked to get his pet Cult to distance themselves from Chuck. One of the things he did was to ban facial hair in the Bethels. Later that ban was extended to the rank and file, but woman were still allowed to grow them.

    The whole ban on facial hair was due to Rutherford and his crusade to get the memory of Chuck Russell out of the conscious minds of dubs. Ergo, the whole thing is total bullshit based upon a power trip of one drunk. It had/has nothing to do with the Bible or Christianity or "True Worship."


  • PSacramento

    How did they know that women had beards? I mean, did they check ??

    OH !! Facial beards !!

    Sorry, thinking of something else.

  • Farkel


    :Sorry, thinking of something else.

    Raise your sights a little higher, as it were.


  • Heaven

    many Bible Students (including women!) grew beards

  • MissingLink

    2001 "Benefit from Theocratic Ministry School Education" p.133

    "For men, a neat personal appearance may include being clean-shaven. In areas where mustaches are widely viewed as dignified, any who wear these should keep them neatly trimmed."

    So - you'r choices are clean-shaven or a trimmed mustache.

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